Shooting for a medal

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Shooting for a medal

Durango twins capture limelight; can long-shot Lanny Barnes make history?
“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” Durangoan Lanny Barnes says of the venue being used for biathlon and cross country skiing at the Olympics. Behind her and the Olympic rings is the “Endurance Village” for athletes of the two sports.
U.S. athletes from several sports mug for the camera during their flight Sunday from Munich, Germany, to Sochi, Russia. Biathlete Lanny Barnes of Durango is at front left.
Tracy Barnes
A biathlon primer

Biathlon, as governed by the International Biathlon Union, consists of cross country skiing and shooting.
Racers ski around a loop several times and, depending on the event, have either two or four stops at the shooting range.
Shooting is done with a .22-caliber long rifle that skiers carry on their backs. At each stop, competitors take five shots at a target 50 meters away. For each miss, they must ski a penalty loop, which usually takes about 30 seconds, or suffer a time penalty, depending on the competition format. Shooting alternates between standing and prone positions.
Hunters have used skis for thousands of years, but biathlon’s sporting history is more military-based. Competitions began in Europe in the 1700s.
Biathlon has an interesting Olympic history. Its precursor was “military patrol,” an event similar to biathlon held only at the inaugural Winter Games in 1924.
After that, it was held in three games as a demonstration sport, but the small interest and lack of clear rules kept biathlon out until 1960.
Only men were allowed until the 1992 games in Albertville, France.
One of the top biathlon and cross country venues in the U.S. is in Soldier Hollow, Utah, a venue at which Durango Nordic Club youths are competing this weekend.

Shooting for a medal

“It’s absolutely gorgeous,” Durangoan Lanny Barnes says of the venue being used for biathlon and cross country skiing at the Olympics. Behind her and the Olympic rings is the “Endurance Village” for athletes of the two sports.
U.S. athletes from several sports mug for the camera during their flight Sunday from Munich, Germany, to Sochi, Russia. Biathlete Lanny Barnes of Durango is at front left.
Tracy Barnes
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